Shop Windows to the Universe

Ready, Set, SCIENCE!, by the National Research Council, focuses on K-8 science classsrooms. Check out the other publications in our online store, as well as classroom materials.
This is a view of the Earth.
Click on image for full size
NASA

Pyroxene Minerals

Pyroxene minerals are common in in meteorites and the extrusive igneous rock called basalt. There are many different types of pyroxene including augite, wollastonite, diopside, enstatite, and hypersthene. All of the types contain Si2O6 but some have sodium (Na) while others have iron (Fe), magnesium (Mg), or a combination of these three elements. The general properties of the more common pyroxene minerals, such as augite, are listed below.

  • Shape: Orthorhombic or monoclinic
  • Luster: Glassy or metallic
  • Color: Black
  • Streak: White, light green or light brown
  • Hardness: 5-6.5 on Mohs Hardness Scale
  • Cleavage: Two planes that meet at nearly a 90-degree angle
  • Fracture: Most have uneven and brittle fractures.


Last modified April 9, 2003 by Lisa Gardiner.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

TES XXVI, 3 fall 2010 The Fall 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist, focuses on rocks and minerals, including articles on minerals and mining, the use of minerals in society, and rare earth minerals, and includes 3 posters!

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

The Periodic Table of the Elements

Everything you see around you is made of tiny particles called atoms, but not all atoms are the same. Different combinations of protons , neutrons and electrons make different types of atoms and these...more

Mars Global Surveyor Measures Pyroxene

Mars Global Surveyor made a measurement of pyroxene on the surface of Mars. The absence of pyroxene minerals was a puzzlement to scientists studying results returned by the Mars Pathfinder Rover's examination...more

Basalt Rocks

Basalt is a hard, black extrusive igneous rock. It is the most common type of rock in the Earth's crust and it makes up most of the ocean floor. The prevalence of dark minerals such as pyroxene and olivine...more

Bowen's Reaction Series

As magma cools slowly, elements within it become chemically bonded forming crystals of minerals. However, not all minerals form at the same time during the cooling process. Some minerals crystallize when...more

Whatís That Mineral?

Each type of mineral is made of a unique group of elements that are arranged in a unique pattern. However, to identify minerals you donít need to look at the elements with sophisticated chemical tests....more

Quartz

Quartz is the second most common mineral in Earthís crust. It is a member of the quartz group, which includes less common minerals such as opal, crystobalite, and coesite. Silica (Si) and Oxygen (O) are...more

Mica Minerals

Mica minerals make some rocks sparkle! They are often found in igneous rocks such as granite and metamorphic rocks such as schist. They sparkle because light is reflected on their flat surfaces, which...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF